Juxtaposition

Something I’ve noticed while parousing the interwebs is that often people will post a photo, and it has good impact. But then the next shot is either a nearly identical photo with only slightly different framing, or exactly the same photo in black and white, or a different perspective on the same subject.

I would highly encourage anyone to take that second shot with slightly different framing, to play with the processing and see what works, or to try a different perspective. The problem is when all three are posted. It pulls the impact away from each one and smears it between them.

I saw a very nice shot in monochrome with a strong figure against an ominous sky. The crop was good, leaving some space and cutting the figure mid shin. It caught my eye and really worked for me. The next shot killed it for me though: it was of the same figure, only with a wider field of view so you could see the base of the statue and the surrounding lawn bordered by trees.

Neither shot was necessarily bad. The problem was in the juxtaposition. The first shot was strong, moody, mysterious. The second shot was documentarian, simple, clean. Either one on its own would have been fine, but the moods were so different that each robbed from the other. Seeing the whole scene right after the tight crop removed all the mystery from the first shot.

Playing around is great, but be sure to edit your work and only show exactly what you want to show. Having a color and a monochrome version of the same shot is fine, but you have to pick one to display, otherwise you’re asking your viewer to do your editing for you. Finish the job.

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